Are you confused on how to answer some interview questions? Well, you have the answer here! I have made a detailed list of all the interview questions you may come across.
What are some of the interview questions?
Below is a list of 20 common job interview questions, along with answering techniques that will help you dazzle your prospects, and hopefully, secure the role you want.
- COULD YOU TELL ME ABOUT YOURSELF AND DESCRIBE YOUR BACKGROUND IN BRIEF?
Most interviewers like to hear stories about candidates, make sure your story has a great beginning, a diverting middle, and an end that makes the interviewer root for you to win the job. Talk about a relevant incident that made you keen on the profession you are pursuing and follow up by discussing your education. In the story, weave together how your academic training and your passion for the subject or industry the company specializes in, combined with your work experience, make you a great fit for the job. If you’ve managed a complex project or worked on an exciting, offbeat design, state it too.
- HOW DID YOU HEAR ABOUT THIS POSITION?
Employers want to know whether you are actively seeking out their company, heard of the role from a recruiter, or were recommended to the position by a current employee. In short, they want to know how you got to them. If someone recommended you for the position, be sure to say their name. dont assume that the interviewer already knows about your referral. You’ll probably want to also follow up with how you know the person who referred you. If you sought out the role yourself, be clear about what caught your eye, it will be extra bonus points if you can align your values with the company and their mission. You want to convince the hiring manager that you chose their company, over all other companies, for a few specific reasons.
- WHAT TYPE OF WORK ENVIRONMENT DO YOU PREFER?
Be sure to do your homework on the organization and its culture before the interview. Your research will save you here. Your preferred environment should closely align to the company’s workplace culture (and if it doesn’t, it may not be the right fit for you). If the interviewer tells you something about the company that you didn’t uncover in your research, like, “our culture appears buttoned-up from the outside, but in reality, it’s a really laid-back community with little competition among employees,” try to describe an experience you’ve had that dovetails with that. Your goal is to share how your work ethic matches that of the organization’s.
- HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH PRESSURE OR STRESSFUL SITUATIONS?
The employer wants to know: Do you hold down the fort or crumble under pressure? They want to make sure that you won’t have a meltdown when the pressure becomes intense and deadlines are looming. The ability to stay calm under pressure is a highly prized talent. Share an instance when you remained calm despite the turmoil. If it’s a skill you’re developing, acknowledge that and include the steps you’re taking to respond better to pressure in the future. For example, you could indicate that you’ve started a mindfulness practice to help you better deal with stress.
- DO YOU PREFER WORKING INDEPENDENTLY OR ON A TEAM?
Your answer should be informed by the research you’ve done on the company culture and the job in question. Nevertheless, you should expect that most work environments will have some team aspect. Many positions require you to work collaboratively with other people on a daily basis, while some roles require you to work on your own. When you answer this question, highlight the best traits of your personality and how they fit the job requirements. It could also be in your interest to answer this question by highlighting the advantages and disadvantages of both situations
- WHEN YOU’RE BALANCING MULTIPLE PROJECTS, HOW DO YOU KEEP YOURSELF ORGANIZED?
Employers want to understand how you use your time and energy to stay productive and efficient. They’re also looking to understand if you have your own system for staying on track with the work beyond the company’s schedules and workflow plans. Be sure to emphasize that you adhere to deadlines and take them seriously. Discuss a specific instance when you stayed on track. Talk about the importance and urgency of the projects you were working on and how you allocated your time accordingly, Explain how you remain organized and focused on the job in front of you.
- WHAT DID YOU DO IN THE LAST YEAR TO IMPROVE YOUR KNOWLEDGE?
This question may come up as a result of the pandemic. Employers want to know how people used their time differently. Know that you don’t have to feel scared about answering this question if you didn’t spend your time brushing up on skills or taking courses. We learn from any experience we have.
- WHAT ARE YOUR SALARY EXPECTATIONS?
Before you walk in for your first interview, you should already know what the salary is for the position you’re applying to. Employers will ask this question because every position is budgeted, and they want to ensure your expectations are consistent with that budget before moving forward. Remember that it’s often better to discuss a salary range rather than a specific number during the interview and leaving room for negotiation. It’s also better to err on the side of caution and quote a slightly higher number as it’s easier to negotiate downward than upward. As a general rule of thumb, I advise not bringing up the questions about salary until your interviewer does or bringing it up too early in the process.
- ARE YOU APPLYING FOR OTHER JOBS?
Interviewers want to know if you’re genuinely interested in this position or if it’s just one of many options. Simply, they want to know if you’re their top choice. Honesty is the best policy. If you’re applying for other jobs, say so. You don’t have to necessarily say where you’re applying unless you have another offer. But they might want to know where in the hiring process you are with other companies. You can also mention that you’re actively looking for offers if your interviewer asks.
- FROM YOUR RESUME IT SEEMS YOU TOOK A GAP YEAR. WOULD YOU LIKE TO TELL US WHY THAT WAS?
Gap years are more popular in some cultures than others. In some professions, gap years may have a negative connotation (the industry moves too fast and you’re not up to date). Let your interviewer know that your gap year wasn’t about procrastinating over your transition from childhood to adulthood, but that it added value to the confident professional you have become. Based on what part of the world you’re in and how common these are, employers are likely looking to hear stories of what you did and how your experiences have benefited and prepared you for this role. Provide a short explanation of why you decided to pursue a gap year, then focus on what came out of it that made a positive difference for your future.
- DO YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS FOR US?
You’ll hear this question in every interview you will attend. While there isn’t a right answer, there is a wrong answer:
Nope, all good! Thanks, I’ll go show myself out.
Instead, with this question, you want to show your enthusiasm about the company. Imagine they’ve already hired you and you’re starting tomorrow – what would you like to know about them? Keep in mind, though, that the questions shouldn’t be too easy ( So, what does your company do?). Other than showing the recruiter that you’re really interested in working for them, this is your opportunity to really find out more about the ins and outs of the place. The answers you get from the interviewer could also be an indicator of whether you want to work there or not.
- WHAT ARE YOUR GREATEST STRENGTHS?
Your strengths say a lot about you as a candidate.
By asking you about your strengths, here’s what the interviewer is looking for:
They want to know if you know your own strengths
They want to know if you’re realistic
They want to know if your strengths are relevant for the job
While answering, the HR manager is going to expect examples from you. So, to answer correctly, you need to convey the above 3 points in your answer and provide a real-life, relevant example of the strength in action.
You can claim you’re the most hard-working person in the world and amazing at time-management, but without providing an example, you might as well be making the whole thing up. So, when considering which strength to mention, think about when was the last time you used it.
What happened? How did you react to the situation? How did your strength help solve the problem?
Basically, the formulaic approach to answering the question is the following:
State your strength
Provide an example of when you used this strength and how
(Optional) Describe what kind of impact you made.
- WHY SHOULD WE HIRE YOU?
During the interview process, it is nearly inevitable that you will be asked to answer the question, “Why should we hire you?” At this moment, you need to proceed with caution. After all, you are comparing yourself to other candidates and trying to set yourself apart from these unknown personas without seeming too boastful. You don’t want to risk derailing the interview process by talking too much and sounding like a show-off.
The hiring manager is gauging your response to determine if you are the perfect person for this job. When asked, “why should we hire you?”, tread lightly and have a few different answers prepared in advance.
While the question might be archaic and intimidating, it is a favorite question among hiring managers, so it’s important to be well-prepared.
Read the full job description in detail and think of a few skills that make you uniquely qualified to perform the job duties. While you cannot possibly know the qualifications of other applicants, now is the time to sell yourself and state the things that make you the best fit for the job
- WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN FIVE YEARS?
The first thing to do when posed with this question is to realize that it has no definite answer and no one knows where he or she will be in five years, likewise, the interviewer does not expect you to. Therefore, there is no particular script that should be followed as far as the question is concerned.
Instead, what your interviewer is looking forward to hear is your career hopes and aspirations and how they can fit into the company. Therefore, be simple and be down to earth. In some cases, honesty is very important but you should also know that if being honest about your career goals might not fit into the company’s then simply tell the interviewer what they want to hear and leave honesty outside the room, unless, of course, you have a better offer somewhere.
You should also be aware that in your attempt to impress the recruiter by telling them what they would rather hear, conduct a proper research before plunging in to tell them how perfect you are for that specific role.
Many applicants out of excitement flunk their interviews because they sound too ambitious and it looks like if employed they will be gunning for their boss’ jobs which you never can tell might even be the one conducting the interview. One of the best ways to answer this question is to predict where a specific position in the said company can take you realistically and connect it with how you’d like to be perceived in the general professional sense. This gives your interviewer the sense that you’re not just thinking about growing professionally, but you’re also thinking to grow hand in hand with the company.
- WHY DID YOU LEAVE YOUR PREVIOUS JOB?
Family issues? Yes this can be a good response to give to your recruiter. Family and health always come first before work. If you had a personal emergency and had to quit work for a while, it’s totally acceptable.
- WHY DO YOU WANT TO WORK HERE?
They are trying to determine if you would fit in at the company and if you would add value to their existing team. An engaged employee that is aligned with the company’s mission and values will be more productive and stay at the company longer. The hiring manager is trying to find out if that person is you.
You might be panicking, wondering how to answer, “Why do you want to work here?” You never want to answer this question with a blunt and thoughtless response like, “Well, the pay is good, and I need a job.”
While this may be true, you aren’t giving yourself much of a chance. You need to prove that you’ve done the research on the company, that your core values match the objectives of the company, and that you will enjoy working there. The hiring manager won’t want to hire someone who is only in it for the paycheck. It’s critical that you take the time before the interview to learn everything you can about the company. Visit their website and read the “About Us” section, check out their social media accounts to get a sense of their culture, and search for press or articles about innovative things the company might be doing.
If you don’t find anything that sparks your imagination and drives your desire to work there, this may not be the right company for you.
When crafting your response, you will want it to be customized to the company you are interviewing with. Hiring managers do not appreciate a generic answer like, “This is a great place to work and I would love to be on the team.”
This doesn’t say anything about the impact the candidate could have on the company and what they bring to the table. Instead, design a response that demonstrates how your personal goals are in line with the values of the organization. For example, if the company values community service, talk about your volunteer work and how you want to be a part of a team that is doing good in the community. Always tie your response back to your experience.
- WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO APPLY FOR THIS POSITION?
Through this question, the interviewers want to assess how passionate you are for the position. And no, the answer isn’t:
“Well, I’m very passionate about not starving to death.” Or… “Well, I needed the money, and you guys tend to pay a lot.” What the interviewer is looking for here is to see how passionate you are about the job or the company. After all, job performance is directly linked to job satisfaction. The happier you are about your position at the company, the more productive you’ll be. And here’s the kicker – your passion will be very evident during the interview.
When you’re talking to a person that’s passionate about something, you can pretty much feel them glow as they talk. And if you’re an HR manager who’s interviewed hundreds of people, this is a very good sign to hire the candidate. So, use this knowledge to your advantage. When asked this question, your answer should include 2 things:
. What motivated you to apply for this position, specifically.
. Why this company? Have you heard of them before?
- WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST WEAKNESS?
Well, this is always a tricky one! After all, you don’t want to mention your flaws during an interview, so it’s guaranteed to be a tough question. The trick to answering this one is realizing that the interviewers don’t expect you to be perfect. Everyone has flaws, weaknesses, and things to improve on. When asking this question, the HR manager is actually seeking to learn:
Whether you have the right skills for the job. If you’re applying for the position of a server in a busy restaurant, and you say your biggest weakness is performing under pressure, then you’re definitely not getting a callback. If you’re self-aware and really know what your sticking points are. And NO: fake humble-brag weaknesses don’t count as weaknesses. You can’t just say that your biggest weakness is that you work too hard, or that you’re a perfectionist. The key here is to mention a weakness that’s real, but not something that would get in the way of you doing your job. You wouldn’t want to say you’re bad at math if you’re applying for an accountant position, would you.
- HOW WOULD YOUR FORMER EMPLOYERS DESCRIBE YOU?
This question is pretty much the same as “what are your greatest strengths,” the only difference is that it should be from the point of view from your boss or coworkers.
Here, you want to focus on your traits and achievements that you’ve previously been praised for (After all, the interviewer might ask for a reference!).
There are at least 2 ways to answer this question:
1) Describe a specific situation where you excelled at work (and received praise from your boss and coworkers)
2) Quote a performance review
If you’ve previously worked in an office job, you’re probably all too familiar with these. Did your boss give you a glowing performance review? Make sure to mention it.
- ARE YOU A TEAM PLAYER?
Wherever you’re applying, the answer to this question should be a “Yes!”Even if you’re applying for a completely solo role, chances are, you’re still going to have to work in a team occasionally. We’d recommend being very specific about your answer here – don’t just say yes. Give the interviewer an exact example of when you excelled at working with a team